The 2012 International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair (IWF), held Aug. 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, was a hit with exhibitors and attendees alike with a buzz of energy circulating throughout the exhibit halls.
Pat LaFramboise, president and CEO of the International Woodworking Fair attributed the show’s success to pent-up industry demand. “People are anxious, hungry if you will, to have an opportunity to come and to see new technology. They have been hearing about a lot of new developments coming on in our industry. Our timing is really good. The economy is improving and the show is getting bigger. It’s a combination of events turning out to everyone’s good fortune.”
Not only were spirits high but attendance as well. Although final numbers have not been released as of printing, they are expected to exceed 2010 numbers. Prior to the show advance registration was up almost 40 percent approaching nearly 13,000 the day before IWF opened.
Many exhibitors also noted that they were pleased with the quality of attendees with many decision makers on hand make face-to-face contact. Reportedly, several large furniture companies walked the show floor and several companies posted ‘sold-to signs’ on their equipment.
This year’s IWF also had an increased international presence with a large number of attendees from Europe, Asia and South America. “It was a diverse international crowd,” LaFramboise said.
For more at-show and post-show coverage, visit WoodworkingNetwork.com/IWF
Seven Win Challengers Awards
Winners for the 2012 IWF Challengers Awards were announced Aug. 22 during IWF. In alphabetical order, they are:
CIM Tech: Solid-CIM 3D
“The whole industry was moving to solid modeling,” said Frank Rubino, president. “In the last 15 years solid modeling has transitioned from aerospace into the most powerful design tool the woodworking industry has ever seen. Unfortunately as solid modeling became the preferred method for design products it also created the largest bottleneck for manufacturing.”
According to Rubino, CIM-Tech has been working on solution for the problem for a number of years. SOLID-CIM features the Automatic Feature Recognition (AFR), which works directly on 3-D solids and 3-D solid assemblies to lay parts flat and identify machine operations. Nested programs for any CNC machine are created with a cutlist with all the parts, materials and quantities. The software is targeted primarily for the wood, plastics and non-ferrous materials market.
Giben America Inc.: Prisma 6000 ECOtech
Sustainable manufacturing was one of the driving forces behind the panel saw, which offers enhanced machine performance and productivity, but with substantially reduced power consumption for an energy savings of 35 percent, said Mark Craig, general manager.
The machine was in development for approximately four years. “We started looking at the technology available and decided to not only create an electric hybrid, but we could also improve the performance [compared to existing models],” he said.
The Prisma 6000 is geared for high production woodworking companies that are desirous of environmentally friendly manufacturing.
Hafele America Co.: Frontino
Functionality in close spaces along with ease of use were among the driving forces behind the development of the Frontino sliding door hardware, said Mae Holler, product marketing manager. With Frontino, sliding doors sit flush instead of on separate tracks, so they don’t open outwards taking up space, she said.
Frontino can be used on upper or base cabinetry and is ideal for use in cabinet, residential furniture and contract furniture applications. They feature an anti-slam feature and are offered in a variety of sizes.
Frontino made its debut at Interzum last year and is in full production, Holler said. “We’ve gotten a phenomenal response to it,” she added.
Martin Woodworking Machines Corp.: Martin T75 Sliding Table Saw
Customer demand for flexibility and efficiency in sawing helped lead to the development of the T75 with its tilting blade function.
According to Carl Stout, president, the saw blade can be tilted to both sides, while still retaining the capability to reach a cutting height of 8 inches. “This makes the machine very desirable for solid wood manufacturers,” he said.
Changing the blade size also gives the machine the ability to score as well as other functions for maximum flexibility in cutting solid wood or panels, he added.
Miltec: HPI Gloss Control UV Curing
According to Bob Blandford, president, the development of Miltec UV’s new HPI Gloss Control UV Curing System was based on understanding the principles behind UV lamp systems coating and process and as well as a lot of R&D in lab. The system eliminates the need for downtime by allowing the use of only one UV final topcoat for all gloss ranges from 30 to 80 gloss units, depending on the UV coating formulation,
Blandford said the company used basic principles applied to R&D. Based on the process, he said, he knew it would be a big hit. “We started sharing with customers casually and interest after demonstrations skyrocketed.”
It took one to two years to develop the system, and it is applicable to any type of wood finishing process with a top coat and where a gloss is needed, Blandford said. The primary market is for hardwood flooring manufacturers and the kitchen and bath industry.
James L. Taylor/Cameron Automation: Cameron Flooring Nester
Customer demand helped spur the development of the Flooring Nester, said Brad Quick, vice president. “Other machines sort for random widths, but the industry needed one that would sort for length.”
The Flooring Nester uses laser measuring along with a sorting mechanism to control the quantity of flooring in each bundle, saving time and labor on the shop floor. It also tallies the material automatically.
Quick said response to the product has been very positive. “This was a bottleneck in the flooring industry. They are happy to see something being done to solve it.”
Techniks Inc.: Extra Plus Aggregate Head
Techniks worked with door manufacturers to analyze work flow and increase the productivity of the time spent mortising on the CNC, said Greg Webb, vice president of sales. As a result, the Extra Plus Aggregate Head was developed.
According to Webb, the tool creates an oscillation action that increases material removal, drastically reducing time spent for mortising deep pockets without increasing equipment or labor costs. The Extra Plus Aggregate was in development for approximately one year and is targeted for the architectural millwork, drawer, door, window and furniture markets or “anything joined together and using deep pockets,” Webb added.